The Open UniversitySkip to content

The igneous end member compositions preserved in Gale Crater sediments

Bridges, J. C.; Bedford, C. C.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Frydenvang, J.; Thompson, L. and Wiens, R. C. (2017). The igneous end member compositions preserved in Gale Crater sediments. In: 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 20-24 Mar 2017, Houston.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (393kB) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The sedimentary outcrop and float rocks in Gale Crater contain evidence of a mixture of igneous protoliths: basaltic, trachybasaltic, SiO2-rich, and alkali-rich. The fine grain size of many of the sediments offers the possibility of estimating accurate bulk compositions of igneous protoliths. However, the sediments also have undergone extensive diagenesis, veining and silica-rich alteration zones. Here we test a hypothesis that end member igneous compositions are recorded within the Gale Crater sediments, compare to other martian datasets, and distinguish alteration trends from the igneous detrital input sourced in the ancient highlands. We analyse this data from the first 1500 sols of Mars Science Laboratory operations using the Gale stratigraphic column.

With over 400,000 ChemCam LIBS spectra, 198 APXS analyses and 19 CheMin analyses, the MSL results provide a unique compositional and stratigraphic sampling of the martian crust. The use of density contours with the large ChemCam dataset allows us to distinguish the key compositional end members from fractionation based on mineral density during deposition, or localised remobilisation during post depositional alteration.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Authors
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Support for Mars Science Laboratory OperationsST/P002110/1UKSA UK Space Agency
STFC DTG 2015 - 2016 (2015 Intake)ST/N50421X/1STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
Keywords: magmatic rocks; Curiosity Mars; Gale crater; igneous classification
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Research Group: Space
Related URLs:
Item ID: 48655
Depositing User: Susanne Schwenzer
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2017 09:57
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 07:48
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU